Zaostrog (Croatia, Central Dalmatia) is a settlement on the Makarska Riviera, 35 km southern from Makarska fully oriented towards tourism. It has over 350 people mainly employed in tourism and service industry. Located in the emerald valley with slopes of Biokovo behind and gorgeous beaches Zaostrog is an ideal place for a nice vacation.
After the arrival of Croatians in the 7th century the place was called Ostrog, and it was mentioned in 950 by a Byzantine ruler Constantine as one of the four fortified towns of the duchy of Neretva. In the 15th century feudal lords of Zaostrog were Croatian nobles which had fortified town close to Viter.
The largest cultural monument in the area is the Franciscan monastery of St. Marija. It was probably founded in the 14th century. It was founded by the monks of St. Augustin, who left it after the fall of Bosnia in 1463 and went to the islands. Abandoned monastery was populated by the Franciscans from Bosnia who are there still.
Franciscans renewed the monastery, during the difficult times under the Turks. In 1640 according to the dignitary from Rome it was said to be the most beautiful of all monasteries in the area. One of its peaks is the stone tablet over the church gate which was written in Croatian and script dates from 1589. After being liberated from the Turkish rule the monastery had its Golden age in the 18th century.
In 1700 the monastery had a usual square shape with the cluster in the middle, in the 18th century it was expanded with two additional wings to the south and the west and in 1874 also the east one. The expansion was needed due to the expanding religious and educational role of the monastery and the Franciscans in it.